The Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite takes us over the city of Valencia and its stunning blue coast. Situated on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.
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The city is visible in the centre of the image, flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on one side and overlooked by the mountains of Sierra Calderona to the north. As a significant cultural centre for the country, it is home to the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex, which also hosts Oceanografic – the biggest aquarium in Europe.
Just 10 km south of the city, this true-colour image shows us the Albufera freshwater lagoon in green. Separated by a narrow strip of coastline featuring sand dunes and Mediterranean pine forest, three canals connect the lagoon and surrounding wetlands with the sea.
The area is home to huge numbers of both migratory and resident birds, including rare species such as Eurasian Bittern. The area is also thought to be the home of the world-famous Paella dish, with the traditional rice used for the dish grown in the surrounding fields since the 19th century.
On the right of the image, amidst the waves and popcorn clouds, we can see a boat, possibly travelling to the port of Valencia from one of the nearby Balearic Islands – a popular route for tourists and residents of the city alike.
The region of Valencia is famous for the diversity of its landscapes, covering mountains, beaches, wetlands and semi-arid desert environments within a total area of less than 25 0000 sq km. This diversity is clearly highlighted in the Sentinel-2 image.
Sentinel-2 data can be used to monitor agriculture, biodiversity, and coastal and inland waters for Europe’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.
This satellite image will be shown at IGARRS – the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, held in Valencia from 22–27 July. The theme for this year’s symposium highlights the pressing demands for ‘observing, understanding and forecasting the dynamics of our planet’.
This image, which was captured on 9 August 2017, is also featured on the Earth from Space programme.